Down as much as 14 points in the second quarter, the Magic clawed back into the game and got it tied at 45-all at halftime. Oladipo showed off his explosiveness off the dribble by blowing past Brian Roberts and finishing at the rim with 1.5 seconds left in the first half.
Vucevic, who spent most of the summer working to improve his low-post game, was especially aggressive in the first half. He made five of his first seven shots and had seven rebounds to go with his 10 points in the first half. The only negative was his four turnovers – twice for carrying the ball and twice for illegal screens.
New Orleans built a big lead by shooting 62.5 percent with three 3-pointers in the first quarter. But the Magic turned up the defensive pressure in the second period, fueling their rally back into the game.
The Pelicans backed off Oladipo in the early going, daring him to shoot the ball from long range. The Magic rookie guard couldn’t find his range at the start of the game, missing six of his seven tries and all four of his 3-point attempts. But Oladipo stayed in attack mode and got to the free throw line six times, making all six tries in the first half.
``I just have to set the tone by doing stuff like (getting to the free throw line),’’ Oladipo said. ``I just have to continue to keep growing. I have to pick when to do it and figure out when I don’t need to. I have to be aggressive and unselfish at the same time.’’
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